Xavier Simonet has given notice that he will leave Kathmandu Holdings within the next six months. He has held the role of chief executive of the group for the last five-and-a-half years. The company said that Simonet’s departure was unexpected. During his tenure, Simonet has repositioned the group and overseen its acquisition of Oboz and Rip Curl, which were added to the Kathmandu brand. As reported by The Sidney Morning Herald, Simonet has been chosen to become the head of Austrade, Australia’s trade and investment commission. In its latest trading update, Kathmandu reported sales across the group up by 73 percent, but sales in its direct-to-consumer segment dropped by 21 percent.  The company has now begun a global search for a new chief executive. Some strong internal candidates will also be considered for the job though, the company said in a statement, in which it specifically referred to Michael Daly, the head of Rip Curl, and Reuben Casey, the group’s former chief operating officer, who currently runs the Kathmandu brand